Lookie who is going to return. Yep Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) is back in Vega$ Baby. The actress is going to appear in the big 300th episode of the Original CSI. Wow it's hard to believe that this show will soon be airing episode number Three Zero Zero. Marg left the show last season fortunately she left under good circumstances and they didn't kill her character off. Crime Drama TV shows have a tendency to kill off characters of actors who voluntarily leave a show before the end of its full run.
So far no real details have come out except to say that Catherine returns to help the CSI team solve a 14 year old cold case. So they close a case from before the series began in the fall of 2000.
Well more details are being revealed about the upcoming 11th season for NCIS. As I sadly found out a few weeks ago Cote de Pablo who plays Ziva is leaving. She is scheduled to tie up her storyline in the first two episodes. It seems it wasn't about money, apparently she had been offered two significant raises to stay. Cote just wants to "move on" apparently.
It has just been announced that there will eventually be a replacement about half-way through the season around January. In the meantime between Ziva leaving and the arrival of her "replacement" there will be a few "fill-in" characters.
Ziva's permanent replacement will be a character named Bishop and is described as "bright, educated, athletic, attractive, fresh-faced, focused and somewhat socially awkward. She has a mysterious mixture of analytic brilliance, fierce determination and idealism. She’s traveled extensively, but only feels comfortable at home.”
Oh Boy, they apparently are going to finalize the Tony (Michael Weatherly) + Ziva romance bit, and the "will they or won't they?" UGH I hope I hope I hope that they don't get them together. I am soooooooo glad that they decided not to Kill Ziva that she will move on to something else, I just hope that it isn't into Tony's arms.
OK so for this review I'm a little slow (as I am on most of my reviews dang) I'm not quite ahead in writing reviews as I had originally planned and I'm only 1 episode ahead in watching now. It is not as easy as it looks or sounds to do these reviews (and I'm probably the only one reading them). If I were to do this professionally I would have been fired long ago for doing what Douglas Adams did about deadlines by just listening to the whoosh sound they make passing by. ARGH! To paraphrase a common line from the show I need to view it, review it, and write it (then edit it and post it).
This is the first regular episode of the series and the first one to show the opening title sequence, more on that sometime in a different post maybe.
After the standard "previously on Hill Street Blues" type recap, things start off with a bank robbery in Chicago, only it isn't a standard hold up. A van pulls up to the bank two people dressed in all black and wearing masks exit the van and enter the bank. One of them opens their coat and the view switches to the bank's CCT security system and interference blanks the screen.
Switch to deep inside the warehouse Pete is playing ping-pong vs. himself via Lewis Carrol's Looking Glass. A large mirror that allows the viewer to interact with their mirror image, in a later episode we will find out more about what the mirror is capable of. Meanwhile some electrical glitches show Artie that someone is trying to hack into the Warehouse's computer systems and they are good. Myka is outside the warehouse talking to her mom on her cell phone and almost pulls a Marsha Brady with the strange football artifact that circles the globe that was sort of introduced in the pilot. It may have some sort of satellite surveillance connection to help hide the warehouse, it is another artifact we will learn more about later in the series. Artie sends Pete and Myka to Chicago to investigate the bank robberies.
Pete and Myka get to Chicago and hit a little bit of a road block via the local FBI agent Bonnie Belski (Tricia HelferBattlestar Galactica reboot). Seems agent Belski has done a background performance check on Pete and Myka's track record and thinks they are trouble. So she makes things difficult for them and takes everything they say with a grain of salt. The bank employees and customers have no recollection of the robbery.
The warehouse team learn that the robbers used an unreleased recording of a 1960s musician Eric Marsden (John Evans) to put people in a euphoric trance with the soothing song and then simply just ask for the money. This record is the main artifact of the episode. The recording's power is amplified and intensified with the right acoustic settings of the mason work of the bank buildings. The building acoustics were the reason why the banks were chosen.
Meanwhile Artie traces the hacker's trail to Washington DC and suspects Pete and Myka's old boss Daniel Dickenson of being the hacker as it is his computer the trace leads to. So Artie heads to DC to stop Dickenson. Artie gives Pete and Myka the address were Marsden is living and learn he is often in a semi-catatonic state, depressed and diagnosed with liver cancer with a life expectancy of only a year, the investigation leads to music company that holds the rights to Marsden's music who mentions the engineer who Marsden recorded with was last known to be a cab driver. Marsden's catalog being out of fashion with little to no demand conveniently attracts an anonymous buyer to make an offer to buy the entire catalog.
While in Dickenson's office Artie gets a Farnsworth call from Myka telling him about the acoustic nature of the banks that were robbed in an effort to figure out which bank(s) the robbers will hit next. Dickenson catches Artie "in the act" while he is doing something with the computer, I'm not sure exactly what Artie was doing with the computer (Erasing? Copying? Bugging?) but to hold Dickenson for a while he uses an artifact a "Dimensional Conversion Camera" that turns people into two dimensional cardboard cutouts until the camera is used on them again.
On the robber's next bank heist, thanks to Artie's research on the bank structures of the remaining banks that have not yet been robbed that fit the profile of the ones that were robbed Myka arrives on the scene as the robbers are exiting the bank. She gives chase and manages to catch the driver of the van who is Marsden's sound engineer Jed Fissel (Peter Graham). They take him into custody to the FBI offices, unfortunately Fissel's partners in crime spring him using the hypnotic recording system. Thanks to Pete's vibes and a heads up Myka is able to get partial protection from the effects by using ear plugs, but she only has time to get one in. She manages to slip her cellphone into the pockets of one of the crooks.
Artie restores Dickenson back to normal and discovers that he had been had by the hacker. Dickenson is not responsible for the hacking but his computer was used to make it appear he was, together they start a new attempt to find the real hacker.
To tie up loose ends and in an effort to minimize spoilers (or just open them all up) and shorten this review some, Pete and Myka locate her cell phone and discover the other robbers are Marsden's Nurse/Housekeeper/Partner? Jesslyn Henjik (Victoria Snow) and The Music Company's Receptionist/Marsden's Daughter Stephanie Goodison (Lindy Booth) are the anonymous buyer(s). Getting his music back helps Marsden to get his daughter back. Pete and Myka take the artifact recording and as Pete tells Myka the robberies are not their problem the recording is. Maybe Belski and The FBI will find the "robbers' maybe they won't that question is left in the air. I remember when I watched the episode the first time when it originally aired having mixed thoughts about letting the "robbers" go. The Warehouse team's concern is only in retrieving the artifacts, not all the police actions.
In trying to track the hacker further Artie experiences a shock that shows him some sort of mysterious vision/flashback.
This episode is the second of the series shown in sequence and Peta and Myka have clicked well as partners. I'm not really sure how much time has passed between the pilot episode and this one but it seems to have been enough for them to be comfortable relying on one another while on missions. It is interesting to note that in these early episodes Pete and Myka share one Farnswroth (apparently there are only three in existence the one they use, Artie's on one that Mrs. Frederic has) and one Tesla Gun an only prototype. There is a limited battery life for the power source of the Tesla so they have to use it cautiously.